Defence Propels Team Canada to First Win at Women’s U25 World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Beijing

Arinn Young(Beijing, China) The Canadian Women’s U25 National Wheelchair Basketball Team overpowered Japan 65-36 on Thursday to secure its first win at the 2015 Women’s U25 World Championship in Beijing.

“Our defence won the game today and we shut down Japan’s top three scoring threats,” said Team Canada player Arinn Young. “Everyone on our team played and got the chance to succeed.”

“Our defence won the game today and we shut down Japan’s top three scoring threats.”

Young, a native of Legal, Alta., was a force for the Canadian side as she dropped a game-high 18 points in less than 14 minutes of playing time. Canadian teammates Rosalie Lalonde (St-Clet, Que.) and Erica Gavel (Prince Albert, Sask.) registered 14 points and 10 points, respectively.

Canada seized control of the game early with a 17-7 advantage after the opening quarter en route to a 36-17 lead at halftime. The stifling Canadian defence denied any hopes of a comeback by limiting Japan to just three points in the third quarter.

Team Canada dominated the boards, outrebounding Japan by a 46-25 margin in the game. All 11 Canadian players saw game action.

With the win Canada improved its record to 1-2 at the world championship and looks to carry the momentum over into its next match against Germany at 10 p.m. ET Thursday (10 a.m. local time Friday in Beijing).

“It’s important to improve every game and we’ve done that,” said Team Canada head coach Ross Norton. “We have to continue to make decisions on the fly. We have focused on the process rather than the outcomes of the game so far and everyone has contributed.”

The Women’s U25 World Championship is held every four years and Canada is one of six countries competing for the world title from June 30 to July 6, 2015 in Beijing. Canada placed fourth as the host nation at the inaugural world championship for junior women in 2011 in St. Catharines, Ont.

The following athletes are representing Canada (athletes’ city of residence indicated / returning players from the 2011 team denoted with a *):

#4 Corin Metzger (Elmira, Ont.)*
#5 Élodie Tessier (St-Germain de Grantham, Que.)
#6 Helaina Cyr (Sherwood Park, Alta.)*
#7 Danielle Arbour (St. John’s, N.L.)
#8 Alarissa Haak (Sherwood Park, Alta.)*
#9 Maude Jacques (Lac-Beauport, Que.)*
#10 Zoe Hahn (Linwood, Ont.)
#12 Sara Black (Toronto, Ont.)
#13 Arinn Young (Legal, Alta.)
#14 Erica Gavel (Saskatoon, Sask.)
#15 Rosalie Lalonde (St-Clet, Que.)

Head Coach: Ross Norton (Edmonton, Alta.)

Assistant Coach: Simon Cass (Victoria, B.C.)

To arrange interviews, please contact Courtney Pollock at 613-260-1296 ext. 203 or cpollock@wheelchairbasketball.ca.

About Team Canada

The Women’s U25 National Team develops the top young Canadian female athletes in preparation for the IWBF Women’s U25 World Championships, which take place every four years. Players must be 25 years old or younger to be eligible to compete. Canada hosted the inaugural world championship for junior women in 2011, where the Team Canada placed fourth.

About Wheelchair Basketball Canada

Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sports governing body responsible for the organization of the sport in Canada. It is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to excellence in the development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and services for all Canadians from grassroots to high performance. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem around the world for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last six Paralympic Games.

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